Expired: West Virginia House Bill 2209

EXPIRED: This bill did not pass.

West Virgina House Bill 2209 was introduced February 13, 2013. This bill seeks to make ownership and breeding of many reptiles illegal including; water monitors, crocodile monitors, crocodilians, hundreds of venomous snakes and also many mammals.

  1. A person may not own, possess, keep, harbor, bring into the state or have custody or control of a potentially dangerous wild animal
  2. A person may not breed a potentially dangerous wild animal
  3. A person in legal possession of a potentially dangerous wild animal prior to January 1, 2014, and who is the legal possessor of the animal may keep possession of the animal for the remainder of the animal’s life and shall prove that he or she possessed the animal prior to January 1, 2014

Complete text and list of prohibited animals can be found here: http://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/WV-HB2209-2.13.14.pdf

USARK opposes this bill.

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Your Message

Subject: NO on HB 2209

Committee on Natural Resources Member,

I write today to oppose HB 2209. This bill will punish responsible reptile keepers by making it illegal to "own, possess, keep, harbor, bring into the state or have custody or control" or breed many species of reptiles. While I understand your concerns over public safety, statistically, you are over 100 times more likely to be killed by home furniture than reptiles.

The reptile sector of the pet industry represents annual revenues over $8,000,000 for West Virginia's small businesses. Reptiles purchased as pets require caging, food and other supplies. Many reptiles are individually valued well over $1,000. An estimated 30,000 residents in West Virginia responsibly own reptiles. This legislation does not protect the citizens of West Virginia but it does destroy the rights of hardworking and taxpaying citizens.

The reptile segment of the pet industry accounts for nearly $1.5 billion dollars in the U.S. annually and that revenue is being threatened by continual legislation. I implore you to vote “No” on HB 2209.


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